DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 February) – Three persons were killed when the vehicle they were riding in was hit by a landslide along the national highway in Sitio Kulasisi, Barangay Tagabukid in Mati City, Davao Oriental at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday.
“There was no rain. But the soil may have loosened,” Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon told MindaNews in a telephone interview.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), quoting reports from the Provincial DRRMC, identified the slain motorists as Arturo Sucnaan, 57 and Arnel Sucnaan, 35 of Tarragona, Davao Oriental and Leonara Mabandos, also of the same town.
The report said “a private vehicle was hit by a falling mass of land” while traversing the highway en route to Tarragona town.
Malanyaon said the landslide affected a stretch of “about a hundred meters” along the highway and temporarily closed traffic anew between Mati City and the typhoon-devastated towns of Baganga, Boston and Cateel.
As of 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, Malanyaon said the road had been cleared for motorcycles and travellers on foot. She said she expects the highway to be opened to regular traffic by Wednesday because various equipment had been deployed to the area to speed up the road clearing.
Land travel between Mati City and Baganga resumed this month following the completion of the repair of the bridges destroyed by calamities: the Teodoro Palma Gil bridge that links Caraga town with Baganga which was destroyed by floodwaters and debris unleashed by typhoon Pablo on December 4, and the. Caraga bridge linking Manay town with Caraga, which was destroyed by strong river currents on January 20.
The fixing of the bridges also opened land travel between Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur. From Mati, the last town of Davao Oriental is Boston which shares a boundary with Lingig, Surigao del Sur.
According to the a February 22 posting on the website of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the restoration of the Caraga bridge cost P2 M and was completed with the provision of 67.06 lineal meter single compact 200 bridging materials while the Teodoro Palma Gil bridge reconstruction costing P4.6M consists of 120 lineal meter-steel bridge to connect the breached center portion.
The Palma Gil bridge was opened to traffic on February 15 while the Caraga bridge was opened on February.2. (MindaNews)